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6 Common Hammer Types and When to Use Them


Every different hammer type has its own unique features to help make the job easier. Check out 6 of the most common types of hammers and when to use them:

Claw hammers: The most popular type of hammer for general work and commonly associated with woodworking. The claw hammer is used for both pounding nails as well as extracting, using the ‘claw’ side consisting of a curved ‘V’ to draw nails from timber. The claw can also be used as a lever to draw up floorboards.

We like:

Vinyl Grip Handle 24oz. Claw Hammer by Estwing

One piece forged steel construction with shock reduction grip, this hammer provides an excellent finish and balance.

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Ball-pein hammers: Also known as the Machinist’s Hammer, this hammer is specifically designed for pounding and shaping metal.

The ball-pein hammer has two ends on the head, one that is flat and the other that is round, and as the name suggests is traditionally used for peining metal. While peining has become less common in modern metal fabrication, it is still used for a number of applications including driving cold chisels, setting rivets and bending and shaping metals.

We like:

Steel Handle 675 Ball-Pein Hammer by JBS

Featuring the innovative Dampening Vibration System (DVS) through the handle, these hammers provide soft comfort grip to help reduce fatigue. Constructed from one piece steel shaft for additional strength.

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Sledge hammers:

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A large flat head attached to a long handle, the sledgehammer distributes serious force over a wide area. They are commonly used for heavy jobs where they are swung like an axe to drive in stakes or break up concrete, stone or masonry.

We like:

Hardwood Handle 6.3kg Sledge Hammer by JBS

Forged from high tensile steel with hardened and tempered faces, the tough hardwood handle is linseed oiled for long life and user comfort. Hard fitted with wooden and steel wedges for maximum toughness.

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Club hammers: Also known as a Lump Hammer, this smaller version of a sledge hammer is lighter with a short handle allowing for single-handed use.

It has a double faced head and is useful for light demolition work, driving steel chisels and masonry nails.

We like:

Soft Handle 1.8kg Club Hammer by JBS

A short handled, heavy duty hammer forged from medium carbon steel, hardened and tempered. Polished faces and bevels with a natural colour finished hickory handle.

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Copper faced hammers: The head of this hammer consists of one side copper and one side rawhide. These soft-faced hammers are ideal for striking materials or shaping metals where a steel face hammer would cause damage and leave marks.

We like:

44mm Copper Face Hammer by Thor

Malleable iron head of extra heavy construction fitted with pure electrolytic copper faces and an oval handle made of hickory. Ideal for heavy duty hammering for maximum weight and impact without causing damage.

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Soft Face Hammers: These hammers are used when the material you're striking could be damaged if you used a conventional hammer. They can be used for a variety of tasks such as forcing tight-fitting parts together, for shifting plasterboard into place, upholstery and timber work.

We like:

44mm Nylon No.714 by Thor

Features a patented metal head fitted with screw-in faces of special nylon. White nylon faces can be replaced by hand in a few seconds and have a shoulder for extra strength. Serrations in the head prevent faces loosening in use.

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